Coweta opens expanded animal control facility

Coweta County Animal Control Maj. Steve Orr takes a minute to play with Gabby while her friend Masey looks on. These are two of the dogs, along with a number of cats, hoping for a new home. For more information on adopting a dog or cat call the shelter at 770-254-3735. Photo/Ben Nelms.

“We’ve come a long way.” That was how Coweta County Animal Control Director Bill McKenzie noted the recent expansion of the county’s animal control facility. The expanded facility opened in September and can now accommodate 92 dogs and 92 cats.

The expansion came with a $250,000 price tag, half of which utilized county funds while the remaining half came from the Holland Ware Foundation. The expansion included a new intake building, additional parking space and drainage upgrades, McKenzie said.

The new building houses two holding rooms, an examination room and a future surgical room. The cages in the holding rooms are two-tiered, with the bottom cages in each of the rooms outfitted with a door that provides a passage to an outside cage. And as with the remainder of the animal control facility, cameras are installed around the buildings to maintain security.

McKenzie added that funding is still needed to outfit the surgical room.

“We hope to get it outfitted within six months,” McKenzie said, adding that the surgical room will be used for procedures such as spaying and neutering and for setting bones.

The new building is where animals enter the facility, where they are checked and are under the care of a veterinarian, McKenzie said.

Once the new animals are ready, they are transitioned to the public viewing area in the old building. That space also accommodates the many rescue groups that use the animal shelter to prepare dogs and cats for transport to other areas and other states. McKenzie said the Coweta shelter is often used by rescue groups from a variety of other states looking to place animals in their areas.

But not all dogs and cats are fortunate enough to be adopted. And while the animals cannot stay for extended periods, the emotion in McKenzie’s voice was evident when he spoke about doing everything possible to find a home for the dogs and cats that come his way.

“One dog has been here for two months while we try to find him a home,” McKenzie said, his voice nearly breaking as he spoke about the tragedy involved in having to end the life of a dog or cat. “Putting animals down is not an easy job.”

Yet at some point the dogs and cats must be put down. And that is where McKenzie and the animal control staff hope the public will get involved and consider adoption. The price for cats is $70 and $120 for dogs. But that price tag comes with spaying or neutering, a microchip, de-worming, a heartworm test and applicable shots.

The specifics about each of the animals at the facility along with a photo can be viewed online at the facility’s website under the animal control section at www.coweta.ga.us

McKenzie said donations to the facility are appreciated. Needed items include toys, food, detergent, towels and food dishes.

Coweta County Animal control is located at 91 Selt Road in Newnan. For more information on adopting a dog or cat call 770-254-3735.